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Chicken Thighs with Creamy Bacon Mushroom Thyme Sauce

This recipe came at the recommendation of Katie, who recently made it and gave it two big thumbs up. Photo credit to Ian, who also gave it a resounding "YUM!"   I have a package of thighs thawing in the fridge that will soon be transformed into this rich, hearty (and keto-approved) dish.  It came from the Julia's Album site, which looks like it has lots of tasty recipes to try out. 

Note: I have finally made this dish and my notes/substitutions are included below in parentheses.


Chicken thighs

  • 4 chicken thighs , skin-on, bone-in (I used 8 boneless/skinless thighs, because that is what I had on-hand)
  • 1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dried thyme and oregano (I did not measure my Italian seasoning, but rather sprinkled a generous amount on both sides of the thighs)

Mushroom sauce

  • 6 oz white mushrooms (I used shiitake and diced them so that my children would not grumble)
  • 5-6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I always seem to have better results when I cut the bacon into small strips--about 1" pieces--then pan-fry them on a low-medium heat, stirring fairly often to prevent burning; this method takes about 12-15 minutes, in my experience.  I retained the bacon drippings and used this in the sauce)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I used half-and-half and added about 1 1/2 cups; I also added about a 1/2 TBSP of flour to thicken the sauce a bit)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (I also added some black pepper, because I love pepper)
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme (I used closer to 8)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. (I decided to use my Instant Pot so I skipped this step).
  2. Season both sides of chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper and Italian herb seasoning mix. Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken thighs skin-side down. Cook for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. (I used the 'saute' feature on my Instant Pot and seared both sides for about five minutes; this took two rounds due to the number of thighs I was working with)
  3. Transfer chicken thighs, skin side up, to the foil-lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes or until chicken thighs are completely cooked through and no longer pink in the center. (I added about 1 cup of water to my IP, added all of the seared chicken thighs back to the IP and used the 'meat' function for 10 minutes on the 'normal' setting). 
  4. In the mean time, make the mushrooms sauce: Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet on medium heat (I omitted the oil, since I retained the bacon drippings). Add sliced mushrooms (without salting - to ensure the mushrooms get caramelized) and cook on medium heat for about 3 minutes flipping once (since I diced my mushrooms, I stirred them around every so often). Add the chopped, cooked bacon to the skillet. Add heavy creamy, 1/8 teaspoon salt and snipped fresh thyme, bring to boil, stir, immediately reduce to simmer and simmer for about 2 minutes on very low heat for flavors to blend and sauce to reduce a bit. Taste and add more salt if needed. (See my note in the ingredients section for my variation; I whisked in the half-and-half and flour, blending until smooth and slightly thickened, then I added the cooked bacon piece,  thyme, salt, and pepper).
  5. When chicken is done baking and chicken thighs are completely cooked through, add cooked chicken thighs to the skillet and spoon the sauce and the mushrooms on top of chicken thighs. (I went directly to plates and skipped the 'putting the chicken back in the skillet' part; I served this with mashed potatoes and green beans, putting the sauce over both the chicken and the mashed potatoes). 

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